The Join In blog: Tagged "wellbeing"

The local team

Kent FA says a Big Thank You

Helen Seamer, a volunteer with Join In, has been working very closely with the Kent FA supporting their campaign to thank their volunteers and to encourage new volunteers to get involved. Helen met with some of the inspiring young people involved in football in Kent and has written a blog to share her experience and inspire others.

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Recent News

Colin and Jenny Hicklin, volunteers!

I didn’t know I volunteered!

Colin Hicklin is one of those community-spirited people who regularly help out in his community – but didn’t actually think of it as volunteering.  He has volunteered for the local Cub group, the Judo club and spent many years organising the Pagham Pram Race.

He has always loved sport and, after moving to the south coast, he became involved in the local sailing club.  He is a fully qualified RYA sailing instructor allowing him to operate the VHS radio, Power Boat, and Rescue Boat. He has been issued with a certificate of competence from the RYA which stood him in good stead when he was persuaded to apply to help at the Rio 2016 Olympics by his wife Jenny. (more…)

Rebecca Birkbeck introducing Join In's 'Making Time' research

Join In is changing

Four years ago, it was time to start making history. Now we’re ready for the next adventure.

Join In began life in a golden summer of sport. Following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we had a simple but incredibly ambitious goal: to create a volunteering legacy for the nation.

This was something that no previous Host City had ever achieved.

Honestly, we had no idea where this would take us. There was no guide. No blueprint. But inspired by the irrepressible energy of the London 2012 Games Makers, we had a good feeling.

And we realised something very important.

Following the London 2012 gold rush, our country was more in love with sport than ever. But it wasn’t just about medals and glory. (more…)

Lisa feels volunteering has improved her work/life balance
Lisa feels volunteering has improved her work/life balance

“Giving back had made me a better human being”

You probably haven’t given a second thought to how the athletes get from their accommodation to their venues during an Olympic or Paralympic Games. But one of our Legacy Volunteers, Lisa Blythman-Wood thinks of nothing else.

Following on from her time as a Games Maker at the Paralympic Games in London, Lisa is now volunteering in Rio. She has reprised her role with the Transport Team in the athlete’s village and is loving every minute of it.

“It has been another hot day in Rio with little or no breeze, if only this had remained the same for the whole day.

ji-legacy-vols-paras-2

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Dawn, centre, runs Guildford Saints FC with a great team of volunteers and members
Dawn, centre, with the walking footballers.

“Why not make a difference?”

Like many grassroots clubs across the UK, Guildford Saints FC wouldn’t survive without volunteers. But they do, thanks to having their very own saint, Dawn Davies: coach, director, mother, grandmother, administrator and BBC Unsung Hero award winner.

Why did you start volunteering?

My son started playing football at Guildford Saints FC aged 6. I felt it was a very well run club, well supported with lots of members. When the committee asked for more volunteers, I didn’t hesitate to put my hand up and say “I can do that!”. (more…)

Just some of the army of volunteers at the kitting out. Our author Aileen is third from left.
Just some of the army of volunteers at the kitting out. Our author Aileen is third from left.

Behind the scenes at the Team GB Rio 2016 kitting out – Part 2

Continuing our peek behind the scenes of the Team GB Rio 2016 kitting out in Birmingham, Aileen Cronin shares her volunteering experience.

Part 1  |  Part 2 


Day one as a volunteer

I didn’t know what to expect but I wasn’t disappointed. The training the day before set the scene, and it was clear how important the kitting out was by the amount of planning that had taken place. (more…)

L-R: Volunteer Helen Seamer, BT's Suzy Goodman, Gus O'Donnell, Eddie Izzard, Will Watt, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Charles Allen, Rebecca Birkbeck and Simetrica's Daniel Fujiwara.
The strong speaker line-up at the launch of Making Time.

‘Making Time’ research launched in Whitehall

On 5th May 2016, Join In launched its look into the motivations and barriers of volunteers in the UK, with a focus on sport.

The launch in Whitehall was led by Join In Chair, Lord Charles Allen, and Britain’s most successful Paralympian and Join In trustee, Tanni Grey-Thompson. Join In patron Eddie Izzard, leading economist and former Cabinet Secretary Lord Gus O’Donnell and Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson also backed the launch.

Lord Charles Allen recounted his deep commitment to sports volunteering, from the Manchester Commonwealth Games to being Mayor of the Olympic Village in London 2012.

↑ Lord Charles Allen recounted his deep commitment to sports volunteering, from the Manchester Commonwealth Games to being Mayor of the Olympic Village in London 2012. (more…)

Team GB athletes and volunteers inspire the next generation of gymnasts.

Springboard to success

For Kieran Bird, volunteering has led to paid job in the sport he loves. He tells us about his time at Milton Keynes Springers Gymnastics Club.

Why did you choose to help out in gymnastics?

I’ve been around sports all my life, either playing or watching them on TV, and gymnastics was always something I had an interest in. I mean, some of things gymnasts can do are incredible – truly a piece of art as I like to think in the back of my mind.

What made you decide to volunteer?

After finishing college, I was looking for work but it was hard to come by especially in sport. So I decided to go the old fashioned route and volunteer (via the Join In website). That way, I could get experience and improve my coaching.

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Going to extraordinary lengths for Sport Relief.

100 sports in 100 days

What lengths would you go to for a great cause? We spoke to Liu Batchelor, who is trying her hand at every sport imaginable to help Sport Relief.

What are you doing?

“I’ve taken on the fundraising challenge of participating in 100 different sports over 100 consecutive days to raise £10,000 for Sport Relief↑. I started my challenge on 11 December, and will complete it on 19 March – the weekend of Sport Relief 2016.

Along the way, I’m doing a video diary showcasing every sport I take part in. The aim of the videos is to inspire people to find a sport that is perfect for them – especially if they haven’t found a sport that excites them.

You can see all the videos from the sports I’ve completed so far here↑.

100 sports in 100 days on You Tube (more…)

Football for everyone with the Skem Men-Aces.

An unsung hero’s tale

Having grown up with spina bifida, Carl Eaton is no stranger to tough times; but the uncompromising love of his parents helped him persevere and inspired him to give something back to his community.

Today, he spends much of his spare time coaching Skem Men-Aces FC, a Skelmersdale-based disability football team. Here’s Carl’s story in his own words…

“I was born in 1962 with a condition known as spina bifida. The doctors advised my parents to leave me in the care of the hospital and start another family; but my mam and dad were fuelled with the exhilaration of their firstborn. The sheer love for each other meant they would never agree with the so-called professionals and they took me home.

The next 12 months gave Mam and Dad huge challenges, and then came son number two. When our Harry was born, he was thought to be in good health, but as the months progressed, it began to show that he had problems. They soon discovered that our Harry had learning disabilities.
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